Muslim Advocates Leader Dances Around Critical Question at Durbin Hearing

Posted: Mar 29, 2011 1:19 PM

Durbin’s hearing for “Protecting the Civil Rights ofAmerican Muslims” brought at least one eyebrow-raising exchange with Farhana Khera of Muslim Advocates.

Arizona Sen. Jon Kyle to Khera: “Would you today criticize threats of death or physical harm directed at writers or commentators who have criticized Islamic extremism? You would condemn that today, would you not?”

Khera: “I think we have, in our country, very cherished fidelity to the first amendment…"

Kyl: “Not questioning whether people have the right to speak. The question is, whether you would agree that that speech is helpful or hurtful, whether you would condemn it, or be neutral about it.”

Khera (after a pause): “Those who would threaten to kill somebody because of their political views, religious views,that’s inappropriate.”

Note she said “inappropriate,” not “wrong.” In a question where the expected answer is easily a simple “yes” or “no,” Khera was anything but clear. It’s apparently “inappropriate” to threaten to kill someone.

Most interesting quote, however? She also said earlier about Shariah law, “They’re chasing a threat that does not exist,” on bills to ban Shariah (which is not the case in Oklahoma). However, Shariah as a threat that exists in the United States has been well-documented. Khera said there are aspects of Shariah that control their daily lives, like prayer, fasting, marriages, etc., and she says the supremacy clause of the Constitution will protect against excesses of Shariah law. However, as mentioned in the link above (an in-depth piece on Shariah law), "A U.S. judge refused a protection order for a woman raped by her husband, ruling the man's abuse is allowed under Shariah Law."

Muslim Advocates has in the past released a joint press statement with ISNA, which a court document identifies as either affiliated or previously affiliated with the Muslim Brotherhood, a terrorist organization.